Seven years ago, Todd Daniels couldn’t stand on his own.
“I suffered a brain injury, a traumatic brain injury,” he said.
As a result, Daniels suffered a stroke.
“My family was told I would always need to be in a nursing home and I would never walk again,” he said.
Determination is finally proving the experts wrong.
Daniels is one of the first to use a new bionic arm, tested at Ohio State University to help him regain movement.
“The pads pick up the intention, or the desire, for the patient to move. Then, the robot detects that and basically amplifies that desire to move,” explained Stephen Page, PhD, associate professor of occupational therapy at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
For Daniels, the study’s been a success.
“When he first started the study, the only time he could actually do any motion was involuntarily. So, now he’s doing it voluntarily,” said Heather Tanksley, occupational therapy student at Ohio State University.
Page believes with the repetitive use of the bionic arm, a patient’s brain is being rewired.
“Areas that maybe weren’t being used or dedicated to a certain movement, like moving the arm, can actually be used,” Page said.
Also, just how much a stroke patient is improving is, for the first time, being measured by the same technology used in your smart phone.
“When we turn it one way, or the another way, the screen change—so it’s sensitive to movement,” Page explained.
Accelerometers, which measure the acceleration and direction of body movements, are placed on each ankle, both arms, and across the chest.
“We are able to determine how well, how fast, and how efficiently a stroke survivor is moving,” said Page.
“Just gaining some motion back was just a huge step,” said Daniels.
Page believes that stroke patients in recovery, even ten years after a stroke and possibly throughout the rest of their lives, can continue to increase their mobility. He hopes the bionic arm will be able to go home with the patients to help them do simple tasks around the house more easily.
A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, disrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happens, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. Whenever brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement, and memory. (Source:stroke.org)
SMART PHONE TECHNOLOGY: People love their smartphones, but many of us take for grant the technology that is packed into our phones and tablets. Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are inspired by it. They are the first to test the innovative approach that combines blue tooth technology with a computer program that charts the movement of a patient’s arms and legs during rehabilitation. “These moving body parts are in a constant state of motion, but with this technology we can figure out how they are all working together. This gives us the ability to objectively, precisely, figure out at the bedside or in a rehab facility, how well someone is improving,” Stephen Page, PhD, FAHA, an occupational therapist at The Ohio State University Medical Center, was quoted as saying. Six sensors are placed on the participants’ arms, legs, and chest. As the person walks the sensors relate information to each other and back to a computer that charts how and where the person is moving.